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The CCWB Mission: My one man mission is to provide you my wonderful
readers with current, objective, relatable content and hopefully even entertainment about the wonderful world of wine. So the CCWB will be spanning the globe, looking and eventually landing on the intersection of where great wines meets reasonable prices.
Places I've Been in 2010: I can hardly believe all the amazing wine destinations I had been to last year, I mean I had to sit back and think about all the wonderful places that I've been and all the wonderful people producers, tasting room folks and winemakers I've met this year. The CCWB went to Santa Barbara County this year and revisited many of my favorite wineries and found some new ones that are equally fantastic. I also visited Paso Robles once more to re-visit old favorites and found some new winetastic places.
Last summer I visited the Washington State Wine Scene, while attending Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla, Walla Washington and fell in love with Red Mountain. Finally the CCWB found itself back in Napa Valley, coupled with a simultaneous trip to Sonoma and Stags Leap District AVA really wowed me. I can't even believe it, what a whirlwind year it has been. So in my writing this year I barely scratched the surface in terms of identifying some of the wonderful producers that you should not only know about, but should be drinking their wine on a regular basis.
Places I'm Going in 2011: My wine travels this year will not be as extensive, but will be "none the less" very exciting. These new adventures will take me back to Italy and for the very first time I'm happy to report I will spend a week in Spain [Can you see the big "purple" smile on my face?].
Oh lord, a whole week in Spain a winetastic week for sure, but barely enough time to make a dent in one of the most fabulous Old World Wine Regions in the world. Places where the Old World and New World wine styles mingle together ever so wonderfully.
For the second part of my wine travels this year the CCWB will be off to Napa once more, specifically the Stags Leap District Vineyard to Vintner this coming April 29 - May 1, 2011. Last but not least, I'll be heading to Santa Monica for Pinot Days for the exclusive trade tasting.
Broad Appeal: This may not be that big of deal but starting last year in 2010 the CCWB became published on a couple other sites. You can see my blog on Lunch, Wine Miles [the best minds in wine] and last I was asked by Haidu.net to publish some articles on their site. A French run website that has some 40 plus heavy hitters of the wine blogosphere represented. Yep this folks came to me and I thought hey wine-not and I am so happy that I have, as it has increased my exposure greatly. I am very appreciative of these opportunities and want to thank them for helping me on this journey.
Other Venues: I also started writing for another site in 2010, beside my own and it's called the The Unreserved, where I publish four articles a month.
No Politics: Around the wine blog-scape, there were plenty of folks entering into the political frey with their wine blog, which had me scratching my head thinking to myself really?? C'mon folks really, are you that desperate to get your political POV on a stage, that you use your "wine" blog to make political book? I know many of you do, which only leave me with one comment, oh-brother! As for me, I really try to keep politics out of my blog, the vapid politics of personal destruction may have a place in the blogosphere, but a wine blog is NOT the appropriate venue for such meanderings. That's not to say I don't have strong opinions on the subject, because I do. Believe me, the last thing you want to hear is my political point of view. Last year you didn't see any of those thinly veiled attempts at lambasting political opponents via conversations about wine, to me that practice is just sour grapes. So if you expect to see any of that nonsense here in 2011, you will be sadly disappointed.
However, when it comes to taking on certain snobby elements of the wine community, those folks should be prepared for a canons blazing broad-side, man o'war style. Because I'm so over the some the pretentious hog-wash I see swirling about in "areas" of the wine world and will not shy away from taking it on when and where I see it, like a swirl of vinegar in a dirty wine glass stained by snobbery.
Stuff I Learned: Some tips that I've got from better bloggers than myself and from two years plus of attending wine blogging conferences. Good question, the following is some of the take aways about what I learned on how to make blog grow.
1. Find your voice and define your own style
2. CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT!
3. Stay consistent.
4. Set ground rules for yourself and publish those rules.
5. Don't be afraid to be controversial [readers love drama].
6. Remember "sex sells" booze is sexy!
7. Remember the five W's [who, what, why, when and where].
8. Always remember you are writing for your readers and not other bloggers.
9. Brevity is the sole of wit, so don't just blather on needlessly.
10. Just be yourself, but continue to grow by learning and asking questions.
Viewership: While I would like to think readership is up [gulp], the sad truth is the only perceivable analytic stat is that viewership is up and quite dramatically so over 2009 levels. In fact I get views from all over the world. I've seen folks in South America reading about a review of Temecula. I've seen folks in China and even Moscow having at the very least clicked on a link to view the blog to read or look at Wine Service Etiquette. I've seen huge increases in page-views over 2009, with nearly 25,000 views in the last six months, compared against the same time frame last year of roughly 10,000.
Thankful: To you my viewers, lurkers, readers and the handful of subscribers, I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to stop by the blog and read some of my musings about one of my favorite subjects, I'm humbled and extremely thankful.
New Friends: I've met so many folks this last year who are just winetastic people via Twitter and Facebook, who I not only talk to online, but many of whom I've met in real life. They are as genuine and real online as they are in real life. Not sure how I got over 4K in followers on Twitter and over 300 Friends on FB, but I have really enjoyed have conversations with almost everyone, that I've come into contact with. One the more meaningful friendships that I've embarked on this year is with a group of local winebloggers, who are now known as the San Diego Wine Mafia. Not just a bunch of wino's either, but appreciators of all types of adult beverages [like fine Islay Scotch]. They all bring a different perspective to the subject of wine and while most of never fully agree on a particular wine worthiness, we do have a seriously good time evaluating and joking about some the things we all have seen and heard.
Advertisers: Last year I had advertisers come to the CCWB and ask me if they could sponsor some of my posts. I was really surprised by the request and of course quite flattered [thinking huh, maybe someone is reading this blog]. So last year I added three advertisers to the CCWB and it's here I wish to thank them all personally for their support. One of my advertisers is Wine Chateau who is the sponsor of this post and it's my hope you will give them a swirl. If there are any other advertisers out there who may want to have their banner displayed on my site please connect with me via the "about me" page.
Time to Move: The CCWB is getting too big for it's britches and needs to move to my own domain. A place I can really call home. Starting this blog just over two years ago, I never thought it would go where it has gone. But the time build is now, so this year I'm going to reinvest some of those advertising dollars right back into a new website. One with far more depth than I currently achieve on this platform. This current blog platform does not has the capacity or capability I need to grow and get better. It will still be called the CCWB, I did float out some other trial balloons [names] out there but was told [my many folks] to stick with the CCWB as it's already branded.
Well folks that will wrap up some of the CCWB highlights from 2010, it has been a great ride and I look forward to all that 2011 offers in terms of opportunities to grow, learn and expand the CCWB empire. I have a mountain of new reviews to write and new wines to explore. So until next time sip long and prosper.